Norfolk, VA

Scholarship announced in honor of journalist killed in Norfolk, VA


In December, students will be able to start applying for a new scholarship opportunity launched in memory of Sierra Jenkins.

Jenkins was a 25-year-old education reporter for The Virginian-Pilot when she was caught in crossfire outside of a Norfolk, VA restaurant and killed on March 19. She also worked for Daily Press and served as an intern at Atlanta Magazine and CNN before taking the jobs at the newspapers, WTVR 6 News reported.

"Sierra was all the things you look for in a journalist: curious, energetic, smart, driven,” said Kris Worrell, editor of The Virginian-Pilot and The Daily Press and a VPA and VPF board member in a media release announcing the scholarship. “She loved being an education reporter for her hometown newspaper and she had a way of getting people to talk to her. Maybe because she was so warm and such a good listener. People trusted her."

To honor the Norfolk native’s memory, the Virginia Press Foundation partnered with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to establish the Sierra Jenkins Scholarship Fund. It’ll be used to offer one-time scholarships to Virginia residents pursuing a degree in journalism or communications at a four-year Virginia college or university, the Virginia Press Association announced.

“The Virginia Press Foundation’s mission is to provide training and resources for student journalists,” Anne Adams, president of the board of the foundation added in the media release. “This scholarship fits directly with our mission and helps students further their education in our incredibly important field.”

Hampton Roads Community Foundation President Deborah DiCroce said that her organization is humbled to be chosen to administer the fund.

“Sierra’s death is a senseless tragedy, and our heart goes out to her family and friends,” DiCroce said. “The fund will forever keep Sierra’s memory and passion alive by supporting students who believe in the power of journalism to inform, enlighten, and inspire.”

The first scholarship will be awarded to students in the 2023-24 school year.

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